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November 2011 Fiction Book: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

(65 Posts)
StewieGriffinsMom Tue 04-Oct-11 20:46:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 16-Nov-11 22:41:14

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stobes Wed 16-Nov-11 22:37:48

Thanks for a really interesting discussion! Bed calls smile

SenseofEntitlement Wed 16-Nov-11 22:29:05

I read a really good book about her and her family - I think it was called "Death and the Maidens"

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 16-Nov-11 22:23:27

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SweetTheSting Wed 16-Nov-11 22:23:08

Bah, DH needs the laptop! Minimal iPhone keyboard now...

It's really interesting to hear the background of Mary Shelley's life.

stobes Wed 16-Nov-11 22:17:52

I like the idea of the 'burgeoning female intellect' as the monster, btw!

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 16-Nov-11 22:16:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stobes Wed 16-Nov-11 22:16:36


SenseofEntitlement Wed 16-Nov-11 22:12:41

I think she had a few babies die. I seem to remember something about her being suckled by puppies to try and stop her getting mastitis after one stillbirth

wildstrawberryplace Wed 16-Nov-11 22:12:28

Yes, it's bizarre isn't it, for all the charnel houses and supposed horror, it's actually a very tender story about just wanting to be loved unconditionally.

wildstrawberryplace Wed 16-Nov-11 22:09:33

actually, maybe I remembered that wrong maybe it was that she had a baby die? sorry my memory is a bit foggy, this is going to back my university days - but I do remember that a lot of the descriptions of flesh and lifelessness seemed to reflect her own very troubled situation.

SweetTheSting Wed 16-Nov-11 22:09:16

SGM, I agree. Justine's would be a good perspective.

SweetTheSting Wed 16-Nov-11 22:07:52

Ooh, I am enjoying getting all your thoughts! Much better than sitting here seething at Victor for being a numpty!

stobes Wed 16-Nov-11 22:07:06

I agree, Strawberry! It goes way deeper than the usual gothic stuff. In fact very little is terrifying, although it is a pretty frightening as a concept of course.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 16-Nov-11 22:07:03

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SenseofEntitlement Wed 16-Nov-11 22:07:01

I think it may be significant that Mary Shelley grew up in the shadow of her parents - her mother died through giving birth to her, and even Percy only started hanging around because he was in awe of her mum and dad. Must give you funny feelings about motherhood and creation, and even feminity.

SweetTheSting Wed 16-Nov-11 22:06:46

Ah, stobes, that is a good point about the comparison of the child rejected by her mother but taken in by Victor's family vs the monster rejected by Victor but then again by the blind man's family.

wildstrawberryplace Wed 16-Nov-11 22:05:22

I actually think the monster can be read as subconsciously representing the burgeoning female intellectual identity - at first, literally out in the cold and learning by observation (women not educated like men) and then resentful and eventually vengeful and violent.

SweetTheSting Wed 16-Nov-11 22:04:42

I mostly read 20th/21st century stuff so I will look out for some other novels of this period to compare.

stobes Wed 16-Nov-11 22:03:16

There are so many abandoned children wondering about the novel that she must have had a bit of a crisis I think.

SweetTheSting Wed 16-Nov-11 22:03:02

Hello strawberry - wow, I didn't know that! (should have read SGM's links or just be generally better informed)

wildstrawberryplace Wed 16-Nov-11 22:02:13

blimey this is moving too fast for me!

Also thinking that the word "monster" comes from root to reveal or show, and how different this is a gothic novel from the others written by women around this time and just earlier - eg Radcliffe.

This is such a serious book - about the very purposes of life and existence, not just rocking your socks with gothic/erotic thrills.

SweetTheSting Wed 16-Nov-11 22:01:47

Yes, the monster was eloquent there. Perhaps he was a 'man of words' as a further contrast to Victor's 'man of science'. But Victor explained to the first narrator (Richard??) that the monster was foully persuasive (alluding to the temptations of Satan). In fact, the premise of a mate seemed very reasonable, although the 'I will kill your family' negotiating tactic was not!

wildstrawberryplace Wed 16-Nov-11 21:59:19


I always think of Mary Shelley, pregnant (I think she was?) and only 17 as she wrote this (IIRC). All the stuff about creation and birthing takes on a new and more immediate feeling as someone in the process of creating a new life.

SweetTheSting Wed 16-Nov-11 21:58:37

Stoic and oh so sweet natured!

I wasn't entirely sure how the letters were supposed to reach the sister anyway - Arctic post?!

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